CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago White Sox are among the major league leaders for offense.
Then they ran into Cesar Ramos and his changeup on Saturday night.
Ramos and two relievers combined to five-hit the White Sox in their 4-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday night.
With a first-pitch temperature of 36 degrees, the White Sox were shutout for just the second time this season. They were averaging 5.58 runs per game, second in the majors entering Saturday.
“It’s tough to hit when you have conditions like this and a guy has a good changeup,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He was moving the ball pretty good.”
Gordon Beckham’s double in the third was the White Sox’s only extra-base hit.
Ramos (1-1) gave up all five hits over five innings in his first scoreless start of the season and sixth career start. He started in place of Matt Moore, who had Tommy John surgery on Tuesday.
The White Sox threatened in the fifth, loading the bases with a walk, a single and another walk. Jose Abreu grounded out against Ramos to end the inning. Abreu hit a walk-off grand slam in the White Sox’s 9-6 victory over the Rays on Friday.
“If he gets a hit, they’re right back in the game,” Ramos said.
“That’s their big guy. I made a pretty decent pitch and (third baseman Evan Longoria) made an amazing play, charging for the ball and hit (James) Loney right in the chest.”
Loney had three hits for the Rays, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Ryan Hanigan hit a two-run double to give the Rays a 2-0 lead in the second.
Loney’s single extended the Rays’ lead to 3-0 in the third.
White Sox starter John Danks (2-1) struggled with his command and a high pitch count. He allowed four runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings. He struck out four, walked four and threw a career-high 123 pitches.
“Tonight, weather-wise probably wasn’t perfect for him to go out there and get a feel for a changeup,” Chicago manager Robin Ventura said. “He fought through it. He gave us a chance. We had opportunities. We just didn’t score.”
Danks exited after allowing a two-out, RBI triple to Desmond Jennings that made it 4-0. Danks has walked 17 and struck out 18 in 31 innings this season.
Danks said none of his pitches were working.
“I had moments where I was able to throw only one of four over the plate but none nearly consistently enough,” Danks said. “It’s hard to pitch 2-0, 3-1 to these guys. It’s something we’re definitely going to have to work on.”
Brandon Gomes threw three shutout innings and Juan Carlos Oviedo pitched a scoreless ninth.
Rays manager Joe Maddon was ejected in the bottom of the eighth for his first ejection of the season. Home plate umpire Tim Timmons ejected Maddon after he protested Timmons’ check swing call on leadoff batter Adam Eaton. Timmons called a ball after Eaton checked his swing on a 2-2 count. Eaton grounded out.
NOTES: Before the game, the White Sox placed 3B Conor Gillaspie on the 15-day disabled list due to a left hand contusion, retroactive to Tuesday. Gillaspie is batting .302 with 12 RBIs in 16 games. He said he has been battling the injury for 2-3 weeks and hopes to swing a bat within 5-6 days. Marcus Semien started at third base. … The White Sox added RHP Hector Noesi to the roster after they claimed him off waivers from the Texas Rangers on Friday. He was 0-1 with a 14.21 ERA in 6 1-3 innings with the Rangers and Seattle Mariners. He threw 1 1-3 scoreless innings Saturday. …Rays RHP Grant Balfour stressed he was frustrated with himself and was not directing anger at White Sox DH Paul Konerko when they exchanged words after Balfour walked Konerko in the ninth inning Friday. “It was competitive stuff coming out,” Ventura said. “I think Paul might have been watching the Blackhawks game.” … RHP Scott Carroll will make his major league debut for the White Sox on Sunday. He is 3-1 with a 1.57 ERA for Triple-A Charlotte. LHP David Price (3-1, 4.04) will start for the Rays. To make room for Carroll, the White Sox optioned RHP Erik Johnson (1-1, 6.46) to Charlotte.
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